Nazimova, Alla


Nazimova, Alla

▪ Russian actress
pseudonym of  Alla Leventon  
born June 4, 1879, Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine, Russian Empire
died July 13, 1945, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.
  Russian-born and Russian-trained actress who won fame on the American stage and screen.

      At age 17 Alla Leventon abandoned her training as a violinist and went to Moscow to work in theatre with V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko (Nemirovich-Danchenko, Vladimir Ivanovich) and Konstantin Stanislavsky (Stanislavsky, Konstantin Sergeyevich). She graduated into the Moscow Art Theatre but left to tour in the provinces and then work with the Paul Orleneff Company in St. Petersburg. She then visited the United States (1905), where, although she spoke not a word of English, she so impressed the Shubert Brothers that they hired her on the condition she learn English in six months. She did, and she opened in Hedda Gabler on November 13, 1906. She adopted the name Nazimova about this time. During the next two years Nazimova was acclaimed for her portrayals of other Henrik Ibsen (Ibsen, Henrik) characters: Nora in A Doll's House, Hedwig in The Wild Duck, and Hilda in The Master Builder. She was so successful that the Shuberts built a theatre especially for her; on April 18, 1910, she opened the Nazimova Theatre, playing Rita Allmens in Ibsen's Little Eyolf.

      Nazimova's fame led her to Hollywood, where from 1915 to 1925 she appeared in 17 motion pictures, from potboilers like War Brides (1916) and Heart of a Child (1920) to silent-screen versions of her stage successes. She returned to the stage in 1928 as Madame Ranevsky in Eva Le Gallienne's production of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. Nazimova became a U.S. citizen in 1927 and went on to create the roles of Christine in Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra (1931) and O-Lan in Pearl Buck's The Good Earth (1932). She also directed and starred in two more very well-received New York City revivals of Ibsen, Ghosts (1935) and Hedda Gabler (1936). In her 60s Nazimova returned to Hollywood and appeared in several more feature films. Though she was considered the foremost interpreter of Ibsen's heroines, her exotic appearance and intense acting style were sometimes exploited to her disadvantage, as in the stereotyped “vamp” roles of her early Hollywood screen career.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • NAZIMOVA, ALLA — (1879–1945), Russian U.S. actress. Born in Yalta, Nazimova went to New York with a Russian company in 1905, making her debut in the play The Chosen People. She stayed in the United States, became a success on the U.S. stage, and had her first… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Nazimova, Alla — (1879 1945)    Born Alla Leventon at Yalta in the Crimea, Russia, she first studied music, but at 17 began training for the stage under Vladimir Nemirovich Danchenko, and joined the Moscow Art Theatre s school in 1898. In 1905, she came to the… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Nazimova, Alla — • НАЗИ МОВА (Nazimova) Алла Александровна (4.6.1879 13.7.1945)    амер. актриса. Род. в России. В 1898 окончила Муз. драм. уч ще Моск. филармонич. об ва. Работала в МХТ и в провинции, а с 1906, после гастролей в Лондоне и Нью Йорке, в амер. т рах …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Nazimova,Alla — Na·zi·mo·va (nə zĭmʹə və, zyēʹmə ), Alla. 1879 1945. Russian born American actress noted as an interpreter of the works of Ibsen, Chekhov, and O Neill. * * * …   Universalium

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  • Alla Nazimova — Alla Nazimova, fotografiada por Maurice Goldberg en 1922. Nombre real Mariam Edez Adelaida Leventon Nacimiento 22 de mayo de 1879 …   Wikipedia Español

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